Girl Scouts recruits Latinas

Client: Girl Scouts
Agency: Grupo Gallegos; TransPerfect Translations
Objective: Increase Girl Scout enrollment rates ?for Latinas.?

Girl Scouts of the USA launched a multichannel campaign geared toward increasing Hispanic child and parental participation in July 2010. The campaign, “Real World Experiences,” highlighted the weekends of two Latina girls, one of whom participates in troop activities and one of whom stays at home. The campaign, which echoes the Girl Scouts tagline, “What Did You Do Today?,” depicted the Girl Scout performing community service and going on a campout, while her counterpart stays at home, plays video games and sends text messages. ?

“Hispanic recent immigrants have a real misconception about what the Girl Scouts do,” says Michelle Tompkins, media manager of Girl Scouts. “They think it’s about going into the woods without adult supervision and selling cookies to strangers. Neither is true.” ?

“[Hispanic families] were not familiar with the Girl Scouts,” says Monica Contreras, director of marketing and communications at Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas, a troop that launched its own Hispanic marketing initiative in 2009. “We had to welcome them in and let them know what it’s about and what they can gain.” ?

STRATEGY: The Girl Scouts launched the Real World Experiences campaign with multicultural agency Grupo Gallegos on TV, radio, Facebook, Twitter, online banner ads and the organization’s Spanish-language website. All of the organization’s program materials were translated into Spanish and it increased recruitment of Spanish-?speaking volunteers. ?

The Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas also translated all of its troop materials into Spanish, including its website, with the help of TransPerfect Translations International, a Manhattan-based multicultural marketing company. The troop ran public service announcements on radio and print ads in local markets. It sent staff into the field to communicate the Girl Scouts message at churches, Hispanic-focused events and in schools with large Hispanic populations. ?

“The ads are telling people there are many opportunities available in the Girl Scouts,” explains Tompkins. “We want people to realize there are many ways to go about Girl Scouting. In almost any community you can find a niche that will suit you.” ?

RESULTS: Latina enrollment has increased from 291,000 in late 2009 to 338,900 as of April. The Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas saw a 2% increase in Hispanic members since its own initiative launched. Hispanic members represent 21% of the troop’s enrollment. Contreras says she’d like that number to eclipse 25% by 2012. ?

“Because of targeted marketing Hispanic troop [numbers] are experiencing the most growth,” says Tompkins. n — Juan Martinez

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